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Motoring journalist Brenwin Naidu has been admitted to the jury panel of the prestigious World Car Awards competition.

He is one of four South Africans to serve on the judging panel of the organisation, joining highly respected automotive journalists Hannes Oosthuizen (Cars.co.za), Charleen Clarke (freelancer) and Lerato Matebese (Driven).

Inaugurated in 2003 and officially launched in 2004, World Car Awards is a non-profit organisation designed to acknowledge and celebrate new standards across the spectrum of new passenger vehicles – with the overall World Car of the Year title being the most coveted in the suite of accolades.

According to the 2020 media report by leading research and analysis firm Cision Insights, it is the number one awards programme of its kind, a plaudit it has held for the last eight consecutive years.

Naidu currently holds the position of Section Editor for the Sowetan Motoring and Sunday Times Lifestyle Motoring titles, published weekly and monthly respectively.

The former remains in the top 10 national print publications with the biggest circulations, while the latter lays claim to being the largest-circulating English-language print title in the country. Both are regarded as household names and are further bolstered by formidable online footprints.

In addition, the 27-year-old is a familiar face as a contributor to Ignition GT, the flagship magazine show of Ignition TV, DStv channel 189, the only 24/7 motoring channel in Southern Africa.

The Sowetan, Sunday Times and Ignition TV are owned by Arena Holdings (Pty) Ltd. The automotive offerings by the company also include Business Day Motor News and the TimesLIVE Motoring portal.

“I am grateful for the vote of confidence from the Executive Committee Director and Steering Committee of World Car Awards, the opportunity to contribute at the very pinnacle of automotive excellence awards initiatives is a true honour,” Naidu said.

“South Africa deserves representation on the global stage. It is worth remembering that as many as nine of the biggest carmakers in the world have well-established manufacturing and assembly facilities on local soil, catering to markets on the African continent and beyond.”

“Our relevance is also evidenced in the sheer breadth and diversity of the new vehicle market, which surely has to rank among the widest for any country: from the budget-focussed compact A-segment, to the most exclusive prestige marques, there are few brands that do not feature on the local scene.”

“Lastly, our country is home to some of the finest driving roads on the planet, backgrounded by immense natural beauty – and we simply must boast about our numerous iconic racing circuits, renowned on an international scale.”

Denis Droppa, Group Motoring Editor at Arena Holdings and Editor-In-Chief of Business Day Motor News said: “We are proud to have Brenwin Naidu selected as a World Car Awards juror. His deep automotive knowledge and his passion for motoring journalism will make him an asset to this prestigious competition.”

The official launch of the 2021 instalment of the World Car Awards will happen via virtual ceremony on August 26. From September 2020 to January 2021, the testing and scoring process is underway, culminating in the World Car Finals in February. This will be followed by the announcement of the Top Three in the World on March 2, with the winners scheduled to be revealed on March 31.

Since 2018 Naidu has served on the judging panel of the Cars.co.za Awards sponsored by vehicle and asset financier, WesBank. He remains a full member of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) and was the 2017 recipient of the coveted Bridgestone Steve Dlamini Award for Excellence in Motoring Journalism.

The accolade recognises promising young achievers, honouring the legacy of Steve Dlamini, one of the first black motoring editors in South Africa, who tragically lost his life in a motorcycle collision in 2009.